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25 years of democracy hasn’t produced true reflection of people’s government – Lawyer

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Justice Ahiakwo

By Akpan David, Calabar

A lawyer and public commentator has said that despite attaining 25 years since return to democracy, there has not been true reflection of government of the people.

In an interview in Calabar, Justice Osai Ahiakwo said, “The electioneering processes adopted in the past 25 years do not have a true reflection of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. 

He was not happy that politicians are still adopting the same dictatorial military approach even though the soldiers had since left the political scene.

According to him, the voices of the people are not heard through the ballot boxes.

The lawyer said this has occasioned “the high rate of rigging and other electoral malpractices that are tantamount to a selection of a few to rule over the majority akin to military rulership.”

This, he said, has resulted in the huge deficit in the commitment to electing the people’s choices of leaders, addin that the politicians in most cases go against upholding the rule of law during the adjudication of election matters.

Ahiakwo has therefore canvassed for a review in order to change the narrative so that Nigerians can be proud of a true democratic system.

But he has envisioned that the country has the prospects for the future where she will be reckoned with as a world power  if the political actors can get democratic institutions strengthened. 

He has advocated the improvement in the mode of electing true leaders into governance.

“This will give room to addressing key challenges such as criminality, bad economic policies, corruption, poverty, unemployment, and insecurity. 

“Going forward, Nigerians must put in more efforts to promote transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights, to build a more prosperous and equitable society for its people and global recognition.

“There are several potential benefits derivable from imbibing democratic principles of governance in Nigeria, which include but are not limited to (1) political stability, (2) economic growth, (3) improved governance via democratic institutions, (4) social development, (5) citizen empowerment, etc. 

“All these are achievable depending on the implementation of sound laws, institutions, goodwill from leaders, and the engagement of civil society,” he said.

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